How about looking less at what you eat and more at how you eat it? Now I’m not suggesting anything wacky here. What I’m talking about are the basics of good eating habits.
How do you eat?
Take a moment to consider.
- Do you sit down or do you grab something on the way to the shops or while running for the bus?
- If you sit down, do you perch at the breakfast bar, slouch on the sofa or do you sit at the table?
- Do you eat with pleasure, savouring the flavours, or does eating have to be fitted in as you dart from chore to chore?
- Do you jump up the moment you’re finished, still swallowing the last mouthful as you speed off into your busy life?
All of this has an impact, because if you are asking your body to run, jump, hop and skip through your day without a break, I can promise you that it will not be able to give any energy to digesting your food. And poorly digested food does not give you any energy and does not stop you feeling hungry.
Here’s an interesting thing. Researchers, looking at why a diet high in saturated fats has more adverse effect on Americans than the French (causing more heart disease, for example), observed both nationalities eating in a fast food restaurant. The same meal took Americans an average of 11 minutes to dispose of and the French a whole 22 minutes. The researchers proposed the idea that the extra time and effort that the French gave to their meal enabled the body to deal with it more effectively, reducing the negative effect it had in terms of depositing cholesterol and clogging arteries.
Seem a bit far out? Well, here’s how to get your head round it.
When you chew your food thoroughly, your body gets the message that food is on its way and supplies digestive enzymes to break it down. The production of digestive enzymes in the stomach sends signals to the pancreas and liver to wake up and produce their own digestive secretions. This is very important because the pancreas breaks down sugars and starches, and the liver deals with fats. Obviously, if you are processing your fats and sugars well, you are less likely to suffer from over or under weight.
So the message is, pay attention to how you eat! It could be at least as important as what you eat.
- Sit down, but don’t slump because this cramps up your stomach.
- Relax and don’t try to work through your meal.
- Chew, chew and then chew some more. This is particularly important when you are used to gulping your food down, as many of us do, especially if you came from a big family where slow eaters lost out!
- Don’t jump up the moment you’ve finished eating, but allow your body a moment or five to get started on digesting.
- Feel your body work on those fats and sugars!!
For those struggling to gain weight, eating masses without seeing any benefit, it may well be that the body is not able to process the food correctly, so taking the advice outlined above will help.
Here’s another angle you may not have considered before: Eat enough!
Every weight conscious person is used to being told to eat less, but that isn’t necessarily helpful. So what do I mean by eat enough?
You need to eat regularly because otherwise your blood sugar levels will fall. When that happens, your body panics and demands food quickly, preferably refined sugars or stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine or alcohol, to raise your blood sugar levels as speedily as possible. Those of you who reach compulsively for chocolate bars after a hard mornings starving are just illustrating my point. It’s no good having half a grapefruit for breakfast if your blood sugar falls and causes you to devour half a box of cookies at midday.
To help stabilise your blood sugar levels, consider Molkosan from A.Vogel made from natural lacto-fermented whey. The lacto-fermentation preserves the minerals contained in whey, including calcium, potassium and magnesium. Molkosan is rich in lactic acid, which is good for digestion and especially for your intestinal flora. It has a regulating effect on blood sugar levels, thus reducing sugar and starch cravings and stabilizing insulin levels. When insulin levels are high, fat cells store more fat…
The last angle to consider here, whether you want to lose or gain weight, is the vital importance of the liver. If the liver is not processing fats properly, it will be difficult for you to maintain a sensible weight. Use Boldocynara from A.Vogel to cleanse and support the liver, enabling it to produce and move bile effectively for efficient fat metabolism. Since it contains Artichoke, Boldocynara also has a positive effect on cholesterol levels.
Good liver function will help the skinny amongst us too, as they often lack the liver power necessary to make the most of the fats they eat.
Eat well, feel well and don’t fear the scales!